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Racism, sexism and the pyramid of discrimination Racism, sexism and the pyramid of discrimination
On 24th December 2018 I was on a long queue to the pay point in a supermarket in Malawi. It was a hot day. The lights went off. Everything was now processed manually. Being a day before Christmas holiday, the shop was full of people. I had been on the queue for 20 minutes. In front of me was a black Malawian man. The teller was also a black Malawian man. After the person in front of me was served, I put my items on the counter for payment. In a flash a young Indian girl cut the line in front of me and the teller served her.
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Different. Reality! Different. Reality!
Several years ago, I went in search of food in a foreign country. Spring had just begun to show her face, and though the air was nippy, it was a beautiful day to walk. The wonderful aroma of barbeque assailed my senses and I virtually floated into the restaurant and placed my order.
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Why celebrate International Women’s Day? Why celebrate International Women’s Day?
Many may ask ‘Why set aside a day for women? Isn’t that what Mothers’ Day is about?’ Or ‘Why not Men’s Day? Don’t men also deserve some recognition?’ To those questions I respond, we are a long way away from God’s desire for all humanity.
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Love: the very essence of God in our midst Love: the very essence of God in our midst
As Christians we have been taught that the very essence of God is love. When asked by would be disciples, what is the greatest commandment, Jesus responded very simply— “Love God with everything you have and everything you are and Love your neighbor— ‘the other” as you love yourself.”
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Love heals: it never hurts Love heals: it never hurts
Let us talk about Abuse and Love. Growing up as a child, I saw my mother being physically, emotionally, mentally abused by my father. She was beaten, violated, abused – but not once did she ever mention this to anyone. One day, I asked my mother why she had to take all the pain, the violence and abuse she was going through in the hands of my father all to herself. Guess what… She said, my daughter listen, “your father hits me, he beats me, he hurts me because he loves me.”
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A harmful text on love? A harmful text on love?
“Yes, he abuses me, but you know, the Bible says I must bear all things” - “There are many signs that he is cheating and exposing me to HIV, but he says that he is faithful and I should believe all thing in love.” - And even: “My father/pastor/teacher rapes me, but my family says that I should just endure it and not bring disgrace on our family/church/school.” - This can never be the message that Paul wanted to send to the Corinthians or to those of us who read this today!
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My body, my sacred space My body, my sacred space
Many of us hate our bodies – bodies which do not match up to the media ideal; hating our bodies because of the liberties taken without our consent; hating ourselves for being born woman.
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Taking a visible stand against gender-based violence in Uganda Taking a visible stand against gender-based violence in Uganda
Before I was born and as I grew up, there were many gender stereotypes that negatively affected women and girls. These included beating wives and not appreciating baby girls. In my culture, girls were deprived of education, because taking them to school was considered a waste of resources. Parents and the general communities looked at girls as sources of dowry (bride price) and so they were married off at an age of 14 -18 years.
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Free as butterflies Free as butterflies
I am a woman and I thank God for that every day of my life. But being a woman means living every day to meet the demands that society, family and our work places (even the church) impose on us. Because I am a woman, I am expected to be perfect, and this is where I see one of the faces of violence: “forgetting who I am in order to become the superstar everyone expects me to be”.
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It is time to stop the ‘Curse’ It is time to stop the ‘Curse’
I am a 51 year old pastor who grew up in a Caribbean family which was punctuated with fights and beatings between my grandparents, my aunts and their husbands or boyfriends, my mother and my father, and my mother and my sister’s father. All on my mother’s side of the family. I made up my mind that that would not be me!
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